What is Via De Cristo?
". . . But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. And His gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ . . ."Ephesians 4:7, 11-12
Via de Cristo is patterned on Jesus' own example. He searched out and called a small group of potential leaders; He trained them by word and example and inspired them with a vision; He linked them together and sent them out into the world to bring the world to Him.
Via de Cristo is a renewal movement of the church patterned on Jesus' example. Its purpose is to help those in the church understand their individual callings to be Christian Leaders. The leadership may be exercised in work situations, in the family and social life, in leisure activities, and within the Church environment. Leadership, in Via de Cristo, does not mean power over others, but influence on others; all of us need to be aware that we can exert a positive influence on those around us.
What is Via de Cristo?
Literally meaning "way of Christ", Via de Cristo is a short course in Christianity that is designed to provide all Christians with a significant foundation for individual and community spiritual growth. Grace and Growth are combined in an exciting and energetic way. At the Via de Cristo the participants become increasingly aware that they are a part of a community abounding in God's grace. The three days are a triple encounter: with Christ; with Christian brothers and sisters; and with a Christian community. VdC is not charismatic or a secret society.
History of Via de Cristo
Via de Cristo originated as the Roman Catholic Cursillo movement which began in Spain in 1948 and moved to America in the late 50's. The first Lutheran- sponsored Cursillos (the early name for Via de Cristo) were held in Miami, Florida in 1971. In addition to the Roman Catholic and Lutheran movements there are similar expressions in the Methodist, Reformed, Episcopal, Presbyterian, and other Christian churches. Today, more that 2 million Christians in 50 nations have attended a "Cursillo" weekend.
Format of The Weekend
The Via de Cristo weekend is an experience in Christian sharing and living. During the 72-hours, fourteen talks will be presented: Five talks are given by Pastors and nine by lay people. A final talk is given on sponsorship by the lay director. The weekend also includes chapel each morning, communion, small group discussions, sharing, music, singing, laughter, and prayer. The fourteen talks are discussed by the participants and will include a Christian perspective on the following subjects:
Lay People in the Church
Importance of Study
A Day in the Life of a Christian
Obstacles to a Life in Grace
Christian Actions in the Community
Each of the talks deals with living one's life in God's grace.
Who Goes To Via de Cristo?
Via de Cristo is not designed to convert anyone to Christianity. It is meant for those who are already faithful and committed to Christ and His church. Once again, the goal of Via de Cristo is to encourage Christians in their lives of faith and increase their awareness of grace and service to the Church and the world. During a Via de Cristo weekend, those who have previously attended are called "The Team", and it is their responsibility to serve you in every possible way.
When is Via de Cristo Held?
Weekends in the Colorado movement are generally held three times per year. Men's and Women's weekends are held in March and November, and a Co-ed weekend is sometimes held during June or July.
How Can I Attend Via de Cristo?
If you would like to attend a Via de Cristo weekend, please contact an individual who has previously attended. If you do not know of anyone who has previously attended a Via de Cristo, the Registrar, will be happy to provide you with additional information or answer any questions that you may have. Contact the Registrar through the Contact Us button to the left under Secretariat.
What Happens After The Weekend?
The weekend is only a beginning. What you learn and share during the weekend will hopefully be taken back and put into practice in your local congregation and community. You will be supported by many others who have attended a Via de Cristo before or with you. Small groups meet regularly (usually weekly) to affirm one another and to share the Christian life of Grace. These activities inspire, challenge, and encourage Christian action in homes, churches, and communities.
How Much Does The Weekend Cost?
It is our policy to not charge pilgrims (you) for the weekend. It is a gift from God.
May I Go with a Spouse or Friend?
Yes, we strongly recommend that spouses and friends attend a first Via de Cristo weekend together. Marriages and friendships can be strengthened and deepened by the Via de Cristo experience. Fall and Spring Colorado weekends are split into all men and all women weekends, with the men going first. Since 2001, there have been co-ed weekends in the summer. Spouses and friends are also encouraged to serve on teams together.
Not everyone who attends a Via de Cristo weekend will receive the same benefit; but all who attend will be blessed, and most will be strengthened in their desire to be a blessing in their churches and Christian communities.